SHAFAQNA– Designers and international brands in last few years have taken notice to the significance of Muslims in the fashion industry by creating Muslim clothing line featuring hijabs that allow Muslim women to express themselves while still adhering to their religious beliefs.
For many years the fashion industry was deeply averse to being publicly associated with Muslims, whether as designers, models, consumers or influencers.
But fast-forward to the second decade of the 21st century, and a connection to Muslims is seen as an asset, CNN noticed.
Muslim consumers are a rapidly growing demographic with tremendous spending power, present in virtually every market in the world. The disposable income of Muslims in the USA alone reached $98 billion in 2013. In 2015, Muslims spent $1.9 trillion globally, and this figure is expected to reach $3 trillion by 2021.
Despite this, Muslims are a largely underserved and frequently overlooked economic sector. Since a whopping 90% of Muslims say that their faith impacts their buying habits, categorically ignoring the needs of Muslim consumers is clearly a costly mistake. So too is plowing in blindly without considering the particular nuances of this multifaceted market, dropkickcopy mentioned.
By 2030, Pew estimates that Muslims will make up more than a quarter of the world’s population. If you calculate the combined spending power of the global Muslim population today, it would be equal to the economy of the third-largest country in the world, after the U.S. and China, Fast Company reported.
According to quartz now, with a growing Muslim population, there is an increased demand for modest but also fashionable clothing for the youth, who have significant spending power.
So Global fashion brands from luxury to high street have woken up to the Islamic calendar. Around the world, brands run fashion promotions for Ramadan and Eid.
Sometimes, fashion brands create a capsule collection from their existing ranges. And a specialist fashion-industry infrastructure has also grown globally — now Muslim designers of modest wear have opportunities to show their work at the proliferating number of modest fashion weeks and fairs around the world.
Now, Muslim models who wear the headscarf, or hijab, are starring in ad campaigns and on the catwalk — from the viral H&M video featuring hijab-wearing Londoner Mariah Idrissi, to Somali American Halima Aden, who has walked for Max Mara and Kanye West’s Yeezy.
This growth has created new opportunities in the fashion industry for Muslims and for those who understand Muslim cultures.
M&S has started selling hijabs for schoolgirls after hundreds of schools requested that it supply uniforms for Muslims.
The clothes giant works with 250 schools as their uniform supplier, and as part of the service a number of schools requested hijabs alongside shirts, skirts and trousers, Telegraph reported.
Retail clothing giant M&S are in the center of controversy. Dozens of people took to Twitter to voice their concern over the issue. However some people did defend M&S saying it was a “great gesture” to the Muslim community.
M&S has defended the decision to sell the hijab claiming that schools across the country had asked for it to be added to their school uniform selection.
They tweeted: “We provide bespoke uniforms for 250 schools across the country and they tell us which items they need as part of their school uniform list. For a number of schools this year, they requested the option of the hijab”, Daily Post mentioned.
M&S is not the first clothing brand to show a woman wearing a headscarf. we’ve rounded up just a few of these brands that are including the needs of Muslim women into their wider collections.
In 2016, Dolce and Gabbana introduced a line of hijab and abayas that Muslim women worldwide celebrated, though some felt excluded by the use of a white model.
In December 2017, Nike launched the Pro Hijab saying they wanted to “make sports an inclusive space for Muslim women.” However, they forgot to acknowledge the many women in hijabs who had already claimed their rightful place in the athletic world.
World champions Ibtihaj Muhammad, Manal Rostom, Doaa Elghobashy, Zahra Lari and Amna Al Haddad are examples of women athletes who were never hindered by their headscarves.
In Canada a couple of months before the launching of the Pro Hijab, a Winnipeg high school ordered custom hijabs for their athletes. They were the second high school in Canada to do so.
After Nike’s launch, a din of tweeters promised to boycott the brand and accused Nike of normalizing the domination and oppression of women. The tweeters escalated to condemn hijabs, The Conversation noticed.
Nike has grown its Nike Pro Hijab line, which it spent a year developing for Muslim athletes after extensive research, to include more colors this year.
In early 2018, British retailer Marks & Spencer (M&S) decided to include “modest outfits” as an online search category and received quite a few negative responses. When M&S had started to sell burkinis two years before, the controversy was about the garment. This time, the garments — selected from existing lines — were not the problem: it was the terminology.
In April, Macy’s began selling the Verona Collection, a brand of modest clothing that includes traditional hijab head coverings, to court Muslim women.
Adidas walked a hijab-wearing model down the runway in its New York Fashion Week show several weeks ago.
Macy’s and Adidas follow in the footsteps of Nike and American Eagle Outfitters, adage mentioned.
In July, Gap launched its back to school advertising campaign featuring a group of children of colour from P.S. 153 in Harlem, New York, including a young girl wearing a hijab. The ad spurred positive media coverage for its celebratory inclusivity and a massive virulent debate on social media.
Many applauded Gap’s decision, which they perceived as empowering women and girls around the world. Some who wear hijabs or wore hijabs shared the struggles they faced to find comfortable clothing in middle and high school.
Hamida Ahmed, a well-known model and Miss Maine pageant winner, expressed her approval in a tweet.
Others were outraged by the picture of a young girl in a hijab.
Gap assumed their attempt to normalize the hijab on young girls would help Muslim girls feel included, like the world was theirs: “Hey young world, the world is yours”. But the rise in hate crimes and bullying based on racism and Islamophobia is on the rise, and so the message is not that simple.
Heba Jalloul, a modest fashion blogger and influencer with a reach of more than 170,000 followers on Instagram, said women like her have struggled to find more covered up clothing for years. Finally, however, she believes retailers are getting with the times and understanding the need for this very lucrative market, pix11 reported.
“It definitely feels like a barrier has been broken. definitely. It feels like we’re accepted. We’ve come a long way,” said Jalloul.
Muslim women are tired of being told they couldn’t be fashionable,” says Elturk. “They took to social media, like Instagram, and became powerful influencers in the fashion space. You can’t ignore them when they have millions of followers.” says Elturk, a Muslim who founded the New York-based e-commerce site Haute Hijab eight years ago.
Indeed, the halal logo on food and other products, in addition to modesty in clothing, has proved to be an effective strategy in creating a global Islamic identity.